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No. 2 Cavaliers too much for No. 7 Warriors

RAPID CITY--In a defensive battle, St. Thomas More proved to be too much for the Winner boys basketball team to handle. The No. 2 Cavaliers outlasted the No. 7 Warriors 63-51 in an opening-round game at the Class A state boys basketball tournamen...

Winner's Devon Leiferman, right, drives to the basket as St. Thomas More's Tayton Maher, left, tries to defend him during a first round game at the Class A state boys basketball tournament at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. (Eric Mayer/Republic)
Winner's Devon Leiferman, right, drives to the basket as St. Thomas More's Tayton Maher, left, tries to defend him during a first round game at the Class A state boys basketball tournament at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. (Eric Mayer/Republic)

RAPID CITY-In a defensive battle, St. Thomas More proved to be too much for the Winner boys basketball team to handle.

The No. 2 Cavaliers outlasted the No. 7 Warriors 63-51 in an opening-round game at the Class A state boys basketball tournament on Thursday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.

"St. Thomas More is a really good team," Winner head coach Brett Gardner said. "They knocked down their free throws. That's a well-coached, fundamental team so hats off to them, but our guys battled until the end."

Four different St. Thomas More players scored in double figures and the Cavalier defense stalled the Warrior offense for stretches throughout the contest.

Winner (18-6) went 19-of-50 from the field for 38 percent, 5-of-23 from behind the arc for 21 percent and 8-of-12 from the line for 66 percent shooting in the loss.

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"We didn't get the stops we needed and we had too many fouls," Gardner said. "They were mixing it up on the defensive end. It slowed us down and got us out of our element a little bit."

Preston Arity led St. Thomas More with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Tayton Maher had 16 points and P.J. Freidel finished with 14 points and six assists. Isaac Kortemeyer chipped in 12 points in the win. The Cavaliers (19-4) shot 42 percent from the floor (14-of-33), 38 percent on 3-pointers (5-of-13) and made 30 of 34 foul shots for 88 percent.

"We wanted to keep them out of the paint," said St. Thomas More head coach Dave Hollenbeck, whose team will face Dakota Valley in today's semifinals. "We played a few different defenses and kept them off balance."

Drew DeMers finished with 21 points, while Devon Leiferman added 16 points and six rebounds. Lattrel Terkildsen chipped in five points and three assists.

"Our kids do a great job of playing to their roles, and Drew's role has really expanded in the past few games because he's knocking in some shots," Gardner said.

In the fourth quarter, Winner was able to cut St. Thomas More's lead down to four points with 3 minutes, 33 seconds left in the game, but a quick 6-0 run by the Cavaliers extended the lead back up to 10 points.

"I was really proud with how the guys responded because Winner kept coming at us," Hollenbeck said. "They would make a run and we'd respond with a run of our own. That was key for us all night."

St. Thomas More led after one quarter 12-7. The Warriors took a 17-14 lead halfway through the second quarter, only to see the Cavaliers close out the first half on a 12-5 run to lead 26-22 at the break. Winner remained within striking distance throughout the third quarter, but the Cavaliers entered the final period with a 42-37 lead.

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The Warriors move into the consolation bracket and face Mount Vernon/Plankinton at 2:45 p.m. today in Rapid City. Gardner said his team should feel disappointed in Thursday's loss, but needs to refocus before stepping back on the court.

"We have to rebound and be ready to go," Gardner said. "(Today) is a pride game."

W 7 22 37 51

STM 12 26 42 63

Winner (18-6)

Krockett Krolikowski 0-1 0-0 0, Wyatt Ewing 0-0 3-4 3, Chase Kingsbury 0-0 0-0 0, Isaac Naasz 0-0 2-2 2, Cameron Kuil 2-3 0-0 4, William Schroeder 0-0 0-0 0, Devon Leiferman 8-19 0-2 16, Riley Calhoon 0-0 0-0 0, Trevor Bertram 0-1 0-0 0, Luke Engel 0-0 0-0 0, Drew DeMers 7-16 2-2 21, Lattrel Terkildsen 2-10 1-2 5, Brandon Vollmer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-50 8-12 51

St. Thomas More (19-4)

Isaac Kortemeyer 1-3 10-12 12, Kale Landguth 0-0 0-0 0, Joe Poeppel 0-0 0-0 0, Jake Satter 0-3 0-0 0, Preston Arity 6-11 9-10 21, Grady Grimshaw 0-0 0-0 0, Tayton Maher 4-8 4-4 16, Ty Trainor 0-0 0-0 0, Austin Hammon 0-0 0-0 0, P.J. Freidel 3-8 7-8 14, Jackson Schad 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-33 30-34 63

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FG%: Winner .380, St. Thomas More .424. 3-pt FG:Winner 5-23 (Leiferman 0-8, Bertram 0-1, DeMers 5-10, Terkildsen 0-4), St. Thomas More 5-13 (Satter 0-2, Arity 0-3, Maher 4-7, Freidel 1-1). Rebounds: Winner 23 (Leiferman 6), St. Thomas More 19 (Arity 8). Fouls Winner 25, St. Thomas More 15. Fouled out: Kortemeyer . Technical: none. Assists: Winner 7 (Terkildsen 3), St. Thomas More 9 (Freidel 6). Steals: Winner 1 (Kuil 1), St. Thomas More 4 (Maher 2, Freidel 2). Blocked shots: Winner 2 (Ewing 1, Kuil 1), St. Thomas More 0. Turnovers: Winner 9, St. Thomas More 8.

Related Topics: BOYS BASKETBALL
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